We recently spent some time professionally testing (okay, playing with) the latest toys at the Toy Fair in London. This being 2016 many of those toys had a significant technological element, making them more interesting than your average cuddly bear. Join us as we revisit some of the best drones, internet-connected toys, AR games and STEM kits that we saw.
Over the past few years we've seen more toys require a smartphone or tablet if you want to get the most out of them, or in some cases even use them at all. Looking at the toys on show in London that's still the case. Classics like Scalextric got more tech upgrades, while there were more robot pets, like the Teksta Toucan, which need an internet-connected tablet. There was even a toy loom which uses an iPad to give young users instructions on how to make bracelets.
Drones once again provided a constant buzzing soundtrack to the show as they hummed overhead, and there were new models for all budgets and aviation abilities. While the Micro Drone 3.0 was our pick, there were also interesting entry level models from Revell, and one which can film underwater.
Other common trends were previously manual ride-ons getting juiced with electricity (luckily there were fewer hover-boards this time) and Augmented Reality toys with stickers and collecting cards all bringing virtual toys to life.
Finally, there were more toys designed to help kids understand technology and learn coding. The latest Meccano Meccanoid robots, which featured in our roundup of the best toys from 2015, look a solid upgrade, and we had great fun playing with the SAM Labs Internet of Things learning kits.